Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
rohanaka

A Walk on the Noir Side

Recommended Posts

Jackie,

*Rebel Without a Cause* really supports your interesting point about

the significance of cars in Ray's films. The drag race scene is one

of the most famous car scenes in cinema. Even *In a Lonely Place* has

key car scenes...including the very opening of the film.

 

From a directing and acting standpoint. putting a scene in an

automobile solves a lot of blocking issues. :D The players have

something to do or look at while talking and the car's interior makes

a good frame for the shot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JackFavell - Your photo reminds me very much of glass of sherry Prof. Wutheridge drinks from in *The Bishop's Wife* (1947). No matter how much he drinks from it it keeps refilling itself until he empties it and watches it closely. That time the bottle refilled itself. I have always found that very funny and very touching moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Jackie*, I also thought of young love a la Shakespeare, or at least any classic/old story about a love that just isn?t going to work. The marriage maker serves as Chorus in the Classical scheme, revealing truth. He tells Bowie, ?I can?t sell you any hope where there ain?t any.? All Keechie needed to do was to commit suicide and we would have had the Classic ending, ha. But, not to make light of the story?it was sad, and in a lingering way because we know from early on that it won?t end well (just as in Classical Tragedy). The dysfunctional families of Bowie and Keechie play such a role in their story. Families are a big part on the Romeo and Juliet story too, but in a different way.

 

I liked Helen Craig a lot. Such sharp facial features and expression. The looks she gives when her husband leaves after release were rending. Did he slink away without so much as a glance because he disapproved of the way she obtained his release---ratting out. Or because he does not and never has really loved her, I think more the latter. The Mattie-Bowie scene when the note to Keechie is written shows Mattie with a mixture of envy, resentment, and guilt. *Frank*, your comments on this scene are persuasive. I believe you emphasized the envy aspect. Overall, Helen was very effective in this role, early on as well, the desperation, ?Remember, I get first money.? She has marvelous eyes.

 

I had never seen Cathy O?Donnell before. She seemed so drab at first but then transforms into such a pretty little thing. She gives Keechie a sweetness that belies the notion of such a dysfunctional upbringing. Farley Granger is good too. I didn?t blanch when he uttered the line about how nice it would be in a movie theater and hold a girl?s hand. It so tells where he (and she too with her past) come from. The movie?s treatment of the story quashes any notion that it?s not realistic for two like this to be so na?ve or have longings such as this. It might generally be unlikely that it could be so but the two portrayals and the movie as a whole render it believable here.

 

*Jackie*, your caps and discussion of such things as, cars, windows, symbolism, etc., are brilliant. I?m not thinking along those line at all when I?m watching :( . I?ll have to notice these sort of things better so that I can at least experience recognition when I read your posts. :) You have a real Jeweler?s Eye when it comes to this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SansFin -

 

I love that moment, it is so touching, and I actually like Monty Woolley's scenes the best in the whole movie.

 

Miss G - Definitely *Rebel Without a Cause* with the car thing, and I thought of *In A Lonely Place* too... as far as dangerous extensions of a man's personality. On Dangerous Ground works almost the opposite, I think. But cars are still key....

 

Edited by: JackFavell on Nov 3, 2010 7:02 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=laffite wrote:}{quote}

> *Jackie*, I also thought of young love a la Shakespeare, or at least any classic/old story about a love that just isn?t going to work. The marriage maker serves as Chorus in the Classical scheme, revealing truth. He tells Bowie, ?I can?t sell you any hope where there ain?t any.? All Keechie needed to do was to commit suicide and we would have had the Classic ending, ha. But, not to make light of the story?it was sad, and in a lingering way because we know from early on that it won?t end well (just as in Classical Tragedy). The dysfunctional families of Bowie and Keechie play such a role in their story. Families are a big part on the Romeo and Juliet story too, but in a different way.

 

You know your classics, Laffite! You made me gasp talking about the Classical form, and the marriage guy. That is brilliant to me, especially the comparison to a Chorus. I know there are lines in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet that say almost the same thing - "I can't give hope where there ain't any." but I think they come earlier in the play, Maybe Friar Laurence or the Apothecary? I'm not sure.

 

> I liked Helen Craig a lot. Such sharp facial features and expression. The looks she gives when her husband leaves after release were rending. Did he slink away without so much as a glance because he disapproved of the way she obtained his release---ratting out. Or because he does not and never has really loved her, I think more the latter. The Mattie-Bowie scene when the note to Keechie is written shows Mattie with a mixture of envy, resentment, and guilt. *Frank*, your comments on this scene are persuasive. I believe you emphasized the envy aspect. Overall, Helen was very effective in this role, early on as well, the desperation, ?Remember, I get first money.? She has marvelous eyes.

 

Very well phrased as well! She looked like she was going to cry when she said, "Remember, I get the first money." I notice that she always looks so hunched with fear - a weight on her shoulders, afraid to come out in the open.... there is a heaviness to her character that is sinking her down.

 

> I had never seen Cathy O?Donnell before. She seemed so drab at first but then transforms into such a pretty little thing. She gives Keechie a sweetness that belies the notion of such a dysfunctional upbringing. Farley Granger is good too. I didn?t blanch when he uttered the line about how nice it would be in a movie theater and hold a girl?s hand. It so tells where he (and she too with her past) come from. The movie?s treatment of the story quashes any notion that it?s not realistic for two like this to be so na?ve or have longings such as this. It might generally be unlikely that it could be so but the two portrayals and the movie as a whole render it believable here.

 

I never once thought, "Oh geez, come on!" throughout the entire movie - they had a lot of difficult dialogue, but it all seemed sweet and was unpretentiously done. And their faces.... so incredibly young and beautiful, and expressive. One thing too, I really LIKED them. So many times in these kinds of young love stories or runaway love stories, the two leads seem more in lust with one another, rather than in love - they don't always even like one another. I liked that they liked each other and genuinely enjoyed each other's company. Very unusual. An innocent love.

 

> *Jackie*, your caps and discussion of such things as, cars, windows, symbolism, etc., are brilliant. I?m not thinking along those line at all when I?m watching :( . I?ll have to notice these sort of things better so that I can at least experience recognition when I read your posts. :) You have a real Jeweler?s Eye when it comes to this.

 

Thank you, but I really can't take credit for the fences and windows idea - the article I posted earlier spoke about it. I probably noticed it in the movie, but I don't know that I would have realized how prominent that motif really is without the article's discussion of it.

 

Edited by: JackFavell on Nov 3, 2010 7:31 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh Ms Favell.. you have raised the bar yet again, little darlin'. (In fact my hat is off to you and the Grey Dude and the Pirate too)

 

I only WISH I had time to stop and reply to your posts (and the screencaps you chose) point by point because you have made some TRULY fascinating and very thought provoking observations For now, I just have to say well done and give you a "pat on the back" sort of post instead.. at a gal.. way to go.. YOUR THE TOPS!! (ha.. I COULD go on and on.. but I am running out of time)

 

It's always a "feast for the eyes" with you bringing so much to the table, little darlin'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only wish you had time to reply, too! I miss you and your insights, and I know you would have a lot of great stuff to say here, between our sobs and sniffles.

 

I'll take that wonderful pat on the back, though, it makes me very happy. :D :x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*They Live By Night is on tomorrow, November 1st, at 11:15 AM ET.*

 

*It will be followed at 1:00 PM ET by the other Farley Granger/Cathy O'Donnell pairing, Side Street, directed by Anthony Mann.*

 

It is funny that TCM put it in that way because today I got the DVD from Netflix and they are on it together.

 

I have been reading through the comments and if there is anything left to say I might give it a run after I watch it tonight or tomorrow.

 

You all are a hard act to follow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having reread nearly everything on "They Live By Night" it seems there is little to add and certainly nothing that can be improved on. You and all the others have reached a depth to it I wonder if even Ray had.

 

My little summary was that we are following a schizophrenic marriage born of a group of very sad people. They find love as much by necessity as luck. There is no real peace. There is no real quiet. What little of either they get is fleeting. They only have now and even that goes quickly. In the end no one gets what they want. You know it can't end well.

 

Bowie is all over the place. He is tender with Keechie, tough with others and naive early one especially when he wants to get that lawyer. What makes him think he can use stolen money to pay for a lawyer. Even if he could get his sentence reduced he has already committed other crimes that land him right back where he started. He is not so innocent or misunderstood that he is going to return the money. He is so fixated on it that he carries nearly everywhere he goes. No qualms about living on it. His sense of decency is rather misplaced since he is willing to pull another job with the guys.

 

Keechie is a mystery. She is plain, annoyed, caught up in a family she wants no part of. When she begins to have feelings for Bowie I get the sense there is a little thinking she can get away as much as there is someone who is interest in her. She cleans up well.

 

One thing that struck me about the cars is I think half the movies was in cars or following them. More than enough helicopter shots of driving than I have seen in some time.

 

I said more than I planned. Even though I seem to have a rather different opinion on our young lovers I did like the movie. I didn't cry like our Divine MissG because the end was obvious. I think for its time the end was required. At a minimum it was bound to happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just want to sneak this in guys, while it's fresh on my mind.

 

"Odd that truth should be a by-product of war." Ray Collins in Crack-Up

 

Watching *Crack-Up* today, the second time around, I really appreciated what a remarkable little crime/noir drama it is. Like a Hitchcock tale, it is based on some really implausible situations and characters, but it's well constructed and entertaining enough that you suspend your disbelief enjoyably. This viewing showed me that by setting a street guy like Pat O'Brien and a cagey doll like Claire Trevor down in the la-di-da world of fine art, you have a wonderful set-up for keeping the audience guessing. Because nothing and no one are quite what they seem, except Pat, our hero. Just like a Hitchcock movie, he's the man who knows too much but isn't as sure of what he knows as the bad guys are. If Pat O'Brien is to believed as an art connoisseur, then everything is open to revision. Including Pat's memory. And yes, to make it more Hitchcockian and more noirish, post War trauma, Freudian psychoanalysis and dream imagery is thrown in. The wohle shebang in one unassuming little picture no one talks about.

 

It helps the script is pretty tight and even contains some good, funny-bitey dialogue. But there's more...how often do you see a mature couple like O'Brien and Trevor as the romantic leads? And they are a cute couple, so good together you keep hoping Claire doesn't turn out to be what you're not quite sure about. Lines like "that's about as good ann idea as cutting your throat for a breath of fresh air" give scenes some kick.

 

Oh, and Hitchcock further resonates with Herbert Marshall's smooth and suspicious presence.

 

I hope everyone got a chance to watch or record it...had I known the schedule in advance I'd have let hyou all know. it's not to be missed and O'Brien proves what a really fine actor he was. "Everone is nuts around this place but me." --- that could be O'Brien's acting motto, his presence always reassures me because I know if there's a false alarm in the room he's going to suss him out and level him flat with those "don't try to hand me that" baby blues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"And yes, to make it more Hitchcockian and more noirish, post War trauma, Freudian psycho- analysis and dream imagery is thrown in. The whole shebang in one unassuming little picture no one talks about."

 

WHEW!!! What a scintillating distillation of this movie. I blew it this morning. Not so much a Pat O'Brien fan as I am a Claire Trevor fan. I'm sorry I missed this film.

 

"...his presence always reassures me because I know if there's a false alarm in the room he's going to suss him out and level him flat with those 'don't try to hand me that' baby blues."

 

Oh bloody hell...you're about to turn me into a Pat O'Brien fan just with that one sentence. How'd you do that? Cut it out, will ya?!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CRACK UP was a long-tracked film by me, having seen most of it once (probably AMC when it was good) and then not again for years and years. I kept thinking it was Edmond O'Brien and I couldn't ever find one of his films that fit this description: "Art expert thinks he's involved in train crash, but no one else does."

 

Pat has this incredibly strong presence on-screen in whatever film he does - and this isn't always wonderful - he's a rather "heavy handed" even oppressive personality, at worst a wet blanket (I'm thinking of THE GREAT O'MALLEY that has another 'star' in it - who is it? That Bogart fellow? Yeah, could be... but it's definitely a Pat OB film).

 

Unfotunately for CM's sanity (or what's left of it), she's going to suffer from CrackUp-itis soon enough. What's that saying, "The pin's in the doll?" No no... it's some other clich?... gee - what IS that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uhmmmmm, the other cliche??? Hmmm...let's try the --DVD-- check is in the mail. And if I'm a really bad girl...spank me with "Pandora & the Flying Dutchman" while you're stickin' pins in me.

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i don't know what it is about my two "mugs", Georgie Raft and Pat O'Brien, but I love 'em. and seeing them together with ella raines...ooooooooooooh Ollieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.....did you get that one??

 

i know pat can be well um, broad, but i love it! i love that he always seems like he just walked on the set ten minutes before the scene, slightly hungover and asking what they want him to say and where they want him to stand. :D the anti-method actor. :D:D he can be the rascal or the saint convincingly, in other words, a real Irishman. you can't trust him but you do trust him, you know what i mean? i like that as a girl, you feel like you could go to george OR pat if your boyfriend was monkeying around...and they'd soon set him straight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and don't miss *the people vs. ohara* --- tracy was never better. nice little role for big jim arness, too (who's still with us, by the way...boy would i love to interview him).

 

Edited by: MissGoddess on Nov 11, 2010 4:09 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pandora? Aye aye!

 

As for Pat's "broad" acting. Y'know, I can't really describe him as overacting or broadly-acting or what - it's just this BIIIG personality he has, on screen. He just smushes everyone else. In A DANGEROUS PROFESSION, here he is, too old for this kind of action, but he's still completely believable in the few physical posturings he does. I can't quite describe how or why he's so large in my memories of his screen-presence.

 

And I don't think it's a negative. He's just a strong personality, or maybe I 'donate' him such a large value on-screen compared to my donations to other actors.

 

I think about his slow-footed sliding-into-scenes in SOME LIKE IT HOT. He doesn't 'smush' everyone else there, but he's really not sharing the screen except with Raft & Cronies - but he's still a large presence there.

 

I'll have to start hunting down least-favorite performances by him one of these days but he might be like Ward Bond or Pangborn, Allen Jenkins, James Gleason, Victor McL - "just show up, I'll like 'em."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

James Arness. Oh, please, Lords Of Interviews, give us James Arness and Doris Day, please please please. Olivia DeH, Deanna D, and always more Audrey Totter.

 

Come to think of it, I'd probably rather buy 'em lunch or invite them over for a weekend picnic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>it seems there is little to add and certainly nothing that can be improved on.

 

You say that from time to time, Chris, but you are so good at making great contributions when there "is little to add."

 

>Keechie is a mystery. She is plain, annoyed, caught up in a family she wants no part of. When she begins to have feelings for Bowie I get the sense there is a little thinking she can get away as much as there is someone who is interest in her.

 

I agree with that. She seems aware that this will probably not turn out. Though they are both "lost," Keechie has a no-nonsense take on Bowie's involvement with the "gang," at the beginning and though desperately unhappy seemed to have a basic hold on reality in ways that Bowie does not.

 

>Bowie is all over the place. He is tender with Keechie, tough with others and naive early one especially when he wants to get that lawyer. What makes him think he can use stolen money to pay for a lawyer. Even if he could get his sentence reduced he has already committed other crimes that land him right back where he started. He is not so innocent or misunderstood that he is going to return the money. He is so fixated on it that he carries nearly everywhere he goes. No qualms about living on it.

 

He seems less aware of the basic reality of things. As you point out, he is in over his head with the law when the story starts and like covering up a lie you have to continue to do so, in this case, not heeding Keechie's advice early on and seeking ways to escape his predicament via a sense of bravado rather than any realistic appraisal of his situation.

 

>His sense of decency is rather misplaced since he is willing to pull another job with the guys.

 

I had the sense that Bowie felt trapped when Chickamaw found them in the hotel. Chickamaw was broke and desperate himself and Bowie knew he would not be left alone and that Chickamaw could make trouble. Maybe he thought he had to at least agree at that time to do another job and in the process find a way to extricate himself from them for good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did get the sense that Bowie's agreeing to do the last job was that it would be the last job. He was going to help them. His loyalty to them overrides his commitment to Keechie. I felt that there would always have to be one more job.

 

I think that with the deaths of his partners he might have had the chance to break away from his life but what happens when the money runs out.

 

BTW, thanks,

 

Edited by: movieman1957 on Nov 11, 2010 6:37 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MM -

 

I agree with Laffite - you have something a little different to add to the mix, and it is always most interesting.

 

"They only have now" - this sentence of yours really blew me away.... everything is condensed in time and so their love seems so much more important and intense - again, like Romeo and Juliet.

 

You ask what happens when the money runs out - I think that the money prolonged Bowie's life... it helped him kee rom having to show himself in daylight.... if he got a job, no matter where it was only a matter of time until someone would recognize him, give him away, or blackmail him. Betrayal....

 

MissG -

 

I was ticked off because I missed Crack-Up. I turned on the TV and saw Raft rifling through an apartment or hotel room. "What film is this?" I said to myself. He had no lines, just moved around the room checking things out, till he came to a vanity with a perfume bottle on it. Raising it to his nose he inhaled.... I knew everything! he knew the wearer of the perfume and was intimate with her. It was such a great moment, all done with the eyes. Very subtle. I was only able to watch one more scene before having to go out. I really wish I'd seen it all. Raft is great! Ella Raines too!

 

Edited by: JackFavell on Nov 13, 2010 12:26 AM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> I was ticked off because I missed Crack-Up. I turned on the TV and saw Raft rifling through an apartment or hotel room. "What film is this?" I said to myself. He had no lines, just moved around the room checking things out, till he came to a vanity with a perfume bottle on it. Raising it to his nose he inhaled.... I knew everything! he knew the wearer of the perfume and was intimate with her. It was such a great moment, all done with the eyes. I was only able to watch one more scene before having to go out. I really wish I'd seen it all. Raft is great! Ella Raines too!

 

I really wish I'd recorded A Dangerous Profession...I hope you get Crack-Up, Jackie...I know you'd enjoy it, it's quite a ride. Two terrific films in a row, I was so happy I was home to see them.

 

Yes, Georgie knew his dames inside and out. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=MissGoddess wrote:}{quote}

> I really wish I'd recorded A Dangerous Profession...I hope you get Crack-Up, Jackie...I know you'd enjoy it, it's quite a ride. Two terrific films in a row, I was so happy I was home to see them.

 

Oh, was the one I was watching A Dangerous Profession? OK. I'm making a note to catch this one next time.

 

> Yes, Georgie knew his dames inside and out. :D

(!) :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> Oh, was the one I was watching A Dangerous Profession? OK. I'm making a note to catch this one next time.

>

 

Oui mamselle.

 

> > Yes, Georgie knew his dames inside and out. :D

> (!) :D

 

Ask Carole!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...